This is Hank Whittenberg's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following Hank Whittenberg's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
Hank Whittenberg
New Hampshire and Massachusetts
It's not what you have; it's what you value
Interests: Estate and elder law planning, mountain climbing
Recent Activity
Show your beneficiaries that you love them. Do a beneficiary review and ensure that they get the assets you want them to receive. Your will is one of your most powerful legal documents and, for many, the primary means to ensure your plans are carried out for your loved ones.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2013 at Hank Whittenberg
Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement of his resignation … surprised the world. But while there’s only one pope, there are thousands of other professionals — including chief executives, entrepreneurs, university professors with tenure and artists — who face a similar conundrum: When you’ve got a job for life with no official... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2013 at Hank Whittenberg
For all you procrastinators, there are now some ready-made excuses not to file your 2012 income taxes as soon as possible. According to Psychology Today, "Everyone procrastinates sometimes, but 20 percent of people chronically avoid difficult tasks and deliberately look for distractions—which, unfortunately, are increasingly available." Whether you are among... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2013 at Hank Whittenberg
7 Common Mistakes in Estate Planning Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2012 at Hank Whittenberg
"You often just don't know what you're going to end up with if you donate" to smaller charities, says Ken Berger, president and chief executive officer at charity evaluator Charity Navigator. You may not know "whether or not [the charity] is truly well-meaning … and whether [it] is really vetting and thoughtfully finding the greatest need out there." Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
The moral of the story is that in order for the plan to work you must have coordination between the attorney who prepares the plan and the accountant who will be preparing the relevant returns. If you don’t want to trouble yourself with what entity should pay what bill or accept what deposit, etc., let that piece be handled by your professionals, also, but again in an integrated manner. There has to be somebody who cares what account is used, because that is their job. Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
A new Internal Revenue Service rule could make life trickier for most businesses that get paid with credit cards — from online retailers to the local deli. Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
If you’re in the fortunate position of deciding where to leave your millions or billions, take some advice from billionaire Warren Buffett’s son, Peter: Don’t spoil them. Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
Whenever making loans — to anyone — there should be a written promissory note that spells out the amount borrowed, whether interest is being charged and how repayments are to be made. It’s fine if it’s merely a demand loan and there’s no repayment schedule. But parents should also specify, in their wills or trusts, how the loan should be handled after they die. Require it to be repaid? Forgive the loan? Offset it with interest? Without interest? Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
The biggest rise [in poverty] occurred among people aged 65 and older who are being driven into poverty by out-of-pocket medical expenses, including premiums and co-pays from the federal government's Medicare program for the elderly. Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
[Qualified Charitable Deductions] can be used to satisfy the RMD requirement for the IRA owner. This means that the IRA owner who doesn’t need his or her RMD for income can direct the distribution to the charity of his or her choice. Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
As the end of the year approaches, small business owners need to meet with accountants or tax preparers to review tax-planning strategies. “ Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
A Wisconsin appeals court rules that a Medicaid applicant who transferred funds to her children, who then put them in an irrevocable trust for her benefit, is ineligible for Medicaid because the trust is an available asset under state law, even though the transfer occurred 17 years before she applied for Medicaid. Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
I'm not sure it rises to the level of an urban legend - however - it seems like quite a stretch for a November date to pass this kind of legislation. I would not be shocked though if we ended up seeing a 1/1/2012 effective date for a 1,000,000 gift tax exemption. As you state in your article - the potential consequences would be so great I was not willing to ignore it for our clients but we are not changing our due diligence for our clients who are contemplating this type of pleanning. Thanks for commenting!
Toggle Commented Nov 14, 2011 on Gift Tax in the Crosshairs at Hank Whittenberg
Rumors are circulating that the Super Committee may be planning to cut Gift Tax Exemptions from $5,000,000 to $1,000,000. The really scary part of the rumors is that the change may have an effective date of November 23, 2011. Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
An aging population is increasingly at risk of hospital delirium — a brain dysfunction characterized by sudden confusion and inattention. It’s one of the most common, dangerous and costly complications of hospital stays for the elderly. Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
U.S. long-term health-care costs rose as much as 5.6 percent this year, led by assisted-living expenses, and are climbing at a steeper rate during a weak economy, MetLife Inc. said. Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
Unlike financial assets, which can generally be divided easily amongst heirs, tangible personal property is unique. And the complexity of distributing a lifetime’s worth of possessions is something that many people overlook. Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
As it happens, parents would rather talk about pretty much any other part of their personal life than answer this question. But when they finally do start talking, almost everyone has the same misconceptions about the process. In fact, most folks are letting four major myths hold them back from getting the job done and protecting their kid in case the worst happens. Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
Life insurance really isn't as frightening or complex as it seems. It's actually a fantastically useful and flexible estate-planning tool that can provide income-tax-free security for your loved ones. It can also provide liquidity to pay estate taxes, especially if your estate largely consists of assets such as real estate or a closely held business that you may be reluctant to sell to raise cash. (If the policy is owned by an irrevocable trust, the insurance payout can avoid estate taxes too.) Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
America’s big charities expect fund raising to rise in 2011, but the increase won’t come close to making up ground they lost in the downturn. Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
There is still the problem to solve about how we’ll care for our frail elderly in the years ahead, and it’s unclear what the path to a solution will be. Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
A new IRS gift tax compliance initiative responds to suspicions of widespread failure to file gift tax returns. Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
There may, in fact, be a free lunch somewhere, but a QTIP is not one. Continue reading
Posted Oct 23, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg
Whether your company is large or small, sooner or later you will experience the pain and apprehension that come from receiving notice that one of your customers has filed bankruptcy. Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2011 at Hank Whittenberg